Delahoyde & Hughes


Jason and Medea:

Dodging a repetition of the events given in Euripides' well-known play, Medea, Ovid instead offers Jason and Medea, the early years: Medea resists but falls in love, helps Jason with his heroic chores involving bulls and warriors sprung from a serpent's teeth and the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece. Her witchcraft rejuvenates Aeson (162) but they play a trick on Pelias and his daughters (163-164) -- chopped-up Daddy didn't come back to life! The period covered in the Euripides play is scanned quickly in a few lines (165) and Ovid then segues into Medea as Aegeus' wife and therefore Theseus' evil stepmother (166).

War between Crete and Athens:

After an effective description of heat, drought, and pestilence brought by Juno, in which the earth and humans mutually suffer a blight (170), we hear about the Myrmidons (173).
  • What were the Myrmidons originally?
  • Where did we last encounter the Myrmidons in mythological texts?
  • How does the transformation make mythological sense?
Check out this separate commentary on the Myrmidons.

Cephalus and Procris:

Here's a tragic distrusting couple. Cephalus is the husband, abducted by the Dawn, and Procris sneaks about in the bushes. Cephalus heaves a javelin, bringing about another tragic hunting accident. So take note: the animal you're shooting at may be your own wife (179).

Metamorphoses Book VIII
Ovid Index
Orpheus: Roman Mythology